Jets Star Sauce Gardner Says He Has 'Chemistry' with Aaron Rodgers: 'A Fun Person to Be Around' (Exclusive)

The reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year checks in with PEOPLE on the cusp of his second season and upon the return of his popular Sauce Sauce to Buffalo Wild Wings nationwide

<p>Buffalo Wild Wings</p>

Buffalo Wild Wings

On the eve of the NFL season, Sauce Gardner is ready for all that his second year with the New York Jets may hold — but 86 the scrutiny.

“There's no pressure,” the reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, 23, tells PEOPLE exclusively, while dishing up the details about the return of his Buffalo Wild Wings Sauce Sauce collaboration. “Us in the defensive room, [we’re] going to do what we always do, put the work in and execute. There's no pressure at all.”

For the star cornerback, the new season is a chance to build on last year’s 7-10 record and form new relationships — especially with the team’s new quarterback, Aaron Rodgers.

Much has been made about the “bromance” brewing between the two during the off-season.

Related: Ahmad 'Sauce' Gardner Burns Cheesehead Hat to Recruit Aaron Rodgers to the Jets

In March, Gardner famously campaigned for Rodgers to join him on the Jets by promising to “burn the cheesehead” he had previously used to mock the Green Bay Packers after the Jets defeated Rodgers' team at home last October.

By May, they were teammates, attending a Knicks-Heat playoff game together — where the playcaller kiddingly shared that Sauce didn’t know who Jessica Alba was — and a few months later, Gardner gifted the future Hall of Famer a diamond and emerald encrusted "8" necklace made by his jeweler, Al the Jeweler.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

“The chemistry between us off the field, it was just there,” Gardner tells PEOPLE about Rodgers, who he says has a “great sense of humor.”

“He's a fun person to be around. I think he feels the same way about me.”

As for their now-signature greeting, he adds: “So the handshakes and all that, that’s just what came with it, being around each other, having good vibes, having fun.”

Stacy Revere/Getty; Quinn Harris/Getty
Stacy Revere/Getty; Quinn Harris/Getty

Despite their 16-year age difference, the DB shares something else with the legendary QB — a predilection towards perfection.

“I'll probably say I'm a perfectionist, but at the end of the day, nobody's perfect,” Gardner says. “So I got to try to balance those things. I can't just have a mentality there. Nobody's perfect … So I just try to make sure I just do everything right.”

To that end, this summer, the athlete made good on his promise to his mom that he finish his degree at the University of Cincinnati.

Related: New York Jets Rookie Ahmad 'Sauce' Gardner Announces He's Going Back to College

Last month, he picked up his diploma in interdisciplinary studies — and made sure to do it in person.

“I just wanted it to all feel genuine,” he says. “I didn't want to be sitting in the suite when I'm getting called, walking across the stage. I wanted it to be genuine, and it was just a great vibe being able to talk to my class, the rest of my class — it was just great.”

He adds about the decision to finish school: “Just knowing that I inspired the kids and the youth, just wanting to have everything, all the boxes checked on and off the field, and I feel like that was the last thing that I was missing, so I had to make sure I did it.”

Now, the Jets playmaker has a new goal on his season-long to-do list.

“I just want to be the best teammate I can be,” he says. “Do whatever it takes, so that way we win a Super Bowl. That's it.”

This season, the Detroit native is also excited to welcome back his signature Buffalo Wild Wings sauce, Sauce Sauce, to the chain’s menus nationwide.

“It is a smokey, sweet barbecue,” he says about the flavor. “It's my personal sauce that I had input on. I appreciate Buffalo Wild Wings for just allowing me to partner with them and us, partner with each other.”

The cook on the field and in the kitchen adds: “I'm happy for the relationships that I was able to build. It's been real fun and creative.”

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.